Before we get going here, I just wanted to give a shout out to my brother Keith, who is celebrating his birthday today.
When the Boston Red Sox traded for Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians, they had to give up some quality players to get him. One of those was Nick Hagadone and the other was Justin Masterson, last night's starter for the Indians.
I still remember the day and the video of Masterson talking after the trade. You could tell he was heartbroken as was most of Red Sox Nation. He was well-liked by everyone because of his personality. Even Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy up in the NESN booth missed him but I really think it was the fact that they missed Masterson's wife cookies.
It was inevitable that Masterson would face his former club at some point after the trade. The Red Sox did face the Indians at the end of the 2009 season but they didn't see Masterson.
Last night Masterson faced off with his friend Clay Buchholz. They played together at various points of their minor league careers. And it was Masterson who got the better of Buchholz and the Red Sox.
Masterson left his former teammates helpless at the plate last night as he only allowed two hits and two walks with six strikeouts. This is the same Masterson who had struggled in an Indians uniform with just one win over his last 18 starts and was 2-12 in Cleveland.
But he showed us why he was included in the deal for VMart with his nasty sinker and slider. His sinker netted him 17 ground ball outs to just four flyouts. The outing by Masterson should give him some confidence on the mound as he moves forward with the Indians.
It's not to say that Buchholz pitched all that bad last night, let's just say he was effectively wild. He got squeezed a few times and uncorked a few wild pitches that would end up hurting him. But how can you say he pitched bad when he only allowed three hits and three runs in seven innings which goes in the books as a quality start.
He did settle down and retired the last nine batters he faced leaving the team with a chance, a small chance albeit with Masterson dealing. But any hopes of a Red Sox comeback were extinguished by the Indians beating up on Boof Bonser and Joe Nelson in the 8th inning when they scored eight runs to blow open a close ball game.
Before we go, don't forget to show Kevin Youkilis some love in the 2010 MLB All-Star Game voting.
We'll be back later with tonight's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups, news and any links from the day but for now enjoy the overnight links.